A marriage defender sees Wednesday’s state Supreme Court decision upholding the state’s constitutional prohibition on same sex unions as a big victory for voters. Wisconsin Family Council President Julaine Appling says it’s not easy to get a unanimous decision from the state Supreme Court, but that the justices clearly understood what the voters did in 2006 – the amendment is about one subject, marriage. “They looked at whether or not Professor McConkey had standing to bring the court case, agreed he did, and secondly they looked to see whether or not the two subject challenge had any merit, and they said basically, no it does not have any merit in this situation,” said Appling.
The amendment limits marriage to one man and one woman and prohibits legal recognition of any similar status. William McConkey, a professor at UW Oshkosh, had argued that those two provisions ought to have been presented to Wisconsin voters as two separate questions, an argument the court rejected. “The people of Wisconsin who voted for this amendment should see today as a great victory for the process by which we amend our Constitution,” said Appling. Some sixty percent of Wisconsin voters approved the amendment in a statewide referendum in November of 2006. McConkey sued, challenging the constitutionality of the ban in 2008. A Dane County judge sided with the state Department of Justice in rejecting his arguments, and the case moved on to the Supreme Court.